Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine environmental variables and the learning of Government in Abak Local Government Area, two research questions and two research hypotheses were formulated for the study. The population of the study was eight hundred and fifteen (815) Government students in all the public secondary schools in the study area and a sample size of two hundred and forty (240) was used. A survey research design were adopted for the study, the instrument used was a questionnaire titled Environmental variables and the learning of Government Questionnaire (EVLGQ). The instrument was developed by the researcher and validated by the research supervisor. Pearson product moment correlation was used to analyze the data collected. The null hypotheses were tested at 0.05, level of significance. The result of the findings showed a significant relationship between class room building, school library, school location and the learning of Government. The study also showed no relationship between class size and the learning of Government among secondary school students in Abak Local Government Area.





1.1        Background to the Study

            Environment can be defined as a system within which living organisms interacts with the physical element while education environment is a learning place where the learner learn and interact with learning facilities in order to be socialized and face the challenges in the society. Agusiegbe, (2004) sees environments as consisting of all elements existing around man and which exert some influence on him. These include physical, biological and social attributes. Environment can also be seen as aggregate of all the external condition and influence affecting the life and development of an organism. An environment is a place where activities such as learning activities take place and can be refers to as school environment.

However, learning environment refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn. Since students may learn in a wide variety of settings, such as outside-of-school locations and outdoor environments, the term is often used as a more accurate or preferred alternative to classroom, which has more limited and traditional connotations, a room with rows of desks and a chalkboard.


Learning environment (school) includes all the external condition and influences in the school that affect the academic achievement of the student such as laboratory equipment, library facilities, qualified teachers, furniture, school building, good administrative management, teacher pupil relationship, school location among others.

Moreover, School environment (learning environment) is the thread that connects the multitude of activities on the school. In many respects, this thread is almost invisible, yet everyone experiences its influence. Dudek, (2000) opined that it could be said to be the external influences in the school that can influence academic achievement of students irrespective of their intelligent quotient. School environment can also be considered as the second teacher since space has the power to organize and promote pleasant relationships between people of different ages, to provide changes, to promote choices and activities and for its potential for sparking different types of social and affective learning (Okeke, 2001). It has been generally accepted that environment and heredity can hardly be separated from education in influencing achievement, hence a child’s life and ability is influenced by nature and nurture.

Thus, the environmental variable of the setting helps to a large extent in ensuring attainability of the goals of such setting. The environmental differences and the differences in the quality of instruction from one learning environment to another can create differences in the level of knowledge acquisition of the students. This shows that the learning facilities children are exposed to and the socio-economic influence on them can affect their academic achievement.

Maduewesi, (2013) referred to teaching and learning environment as the setting physical and conceptual in which teaching and learning are carried out as deliberately planned. And to Okobia in Maduewesi (2013) learning environment means classroom surroundings, physical facilities in the classroom and teacher–pupil relationship. Learning environment includes the school building and the surrounding grounds such as noise, temperature and lighting as well as physical, biological or chemical agent, (Chiu, 2008). School environment can then be seen to include material and human resources, a learning place which consist of the entire interaction. The learning environment is both the natural and provided setting where teaching and learning takes place.

It is a very important factor in achievement of goal of any educational programme. People acquire most of their knowledge through the interaction with facilities provided in the environment for learning. Also learning is influenced by the environment people are exposed to and the facilities provided in such environment lead to experience. As in the words of Tom, (2001) that active interaction with the environment is regarded as the most basic requirement for proper intellectual development. The physical appearance and general condition of school physical facilities are the striking basis upon which many parents and friends of any educational institution make initial judgment about the quality of what goes on in the school. They are often turned off by dilapidated school blocks with sinking roofs and broken walls, bushy lawn and over grown hedges. Also are profane writings on walls, littered lawns and path ways. Finally, the school physical environment is like a mirror reflecting the image of a school and through it the public decide whether or not to associate with the particular school (Mgbodile, 2004).


In Nigeria today, schools are closely associated with the communities. Most communities depend on the neighborhood school for the provision of good and appropriate environment for accommodation, furniture and all form of equipment for certain activities like club or village meetings, wedding reception and church services. Environmental variables before now have not been considered as one of the factors that affect academic performance in secondary schools hence it has little or no attention in educational discourse and consideration. But over the past decade remarkable studies have indicated a correlation between the environment and academic performance of students. Therefore, this study will seek to find out the influence of environmental variables such as classroom size, school library and school location on social studies students’ academic performance.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Social studies is one of the subjects that junior secondary school students are required to pass  at credit level in order to be promoted and qualified to study at senior secondary  school level. But the reverse is the case. Mores so, it is now certain that most secondary school products cannot gain admission into federal universities or university of their choice due to poor performance in the placement examination into these schools. This poor academic performance can be attributed to poor foundation laid at junior secondary level (Unified tertiary matriculation examination board report UTMEB, 2012).

Similarly, this poor performance may also be attributed to poor learning environment especially in the following areas: school location, schools building, library services and school facilities. The environment varies from school to school. Some schools have adequate school buildings, good library and suitable textbooks, good administrative management, professionally qualified teachers, good laboratory equipment as well as good location. While in some schools little or none of these exist. It is because of this that Chike-Okoli, (2009) in line with Ikediashi, (2013) have pointed out that poor teaching experience, inadequate or poor physical infrastructure, unsatisfactory building design are likely to cause some physical discomfort for the students and are therefore bound to influence their academic achievement. The problem of this study put in a question form is: What is the influence of environmental variables on the academic performance of social studies students. This question necessitates the study on environmental variables and academic performance of Government students in Abak Local Government Area.

1.3       Purpose of the Study:

The main purpose of this study was to examine environmental variables and students’ academic performance in social studies in Abak Local Government Area. Specifically, the study intended:

  1. To examine the influence of class room building on the learning of Government among secondary school students;
  2. To examine the influence of school location on the learning of Government Among secondary school students;
  3. To examine the influence of class size on the learning of Government among secondary school students.
  4. To investigate the influence of library facilities on learning of Government among secondary schools students.

1.4       Significance of the Study

The findings from this study will be of immense benefits to the government, principals, teachers, parents as well as student researchers.

  1. The findings will help the government or the policy makers in formulating effective planning and implementation of policies and programs for improved school academic activities. It will also provide policy makers with intelligent forecast and analysis of future needs of the schools in the areas of building and location.
  2. It will help the parents in determining the choice of the type of school for their children. This is because, their wards will enjoy good school learning environment that will lead to quality school products.
  3. It will be of benefit to the student researchers as it will provide a valid working document or literature in investigating other areas not covered by this study. Thus, it will serve as a point of reference to future researchers in the field.

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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of onlineproject.com.ng. A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education. Call/Whatsapp for complete material: 07068634102